“When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.”
CIA asset Osama bin Laden may have channeled something embedded in man since time immemorial when he likened militant Islam to virility and its enemies to paltriness. Part of lived experience is learning that there are people better or worse than oneself at doing any number of things. We may admire these people, resent them, support them, be lead by them, undermine them; but in every case we related to them by deficiency or proficiency. The root of these imbalanced relations is the asymmetry of human perception and power—that is to say, person A is stronger than person B in some way, shape, or form. We are drawn to strength when we see it, so it has often been the case that the strong lead and influence the not-strong.
In the days of old, for a man who was sickly in body or sickly in mind to be made chief was an anomaly, for on what strength did his right to rule rest? In a dynastic era he might secure his power by the social construct of legitimacy—my father was king and so it is precedent that I rule in succession. Even so, such a ruler risked being deposed if he relied solely on bloodline and not on his own auctoritas. But not all systems of rule are hereditary and few remain so in a contemporary context. Universal suffrage democracy is used to select the next chief in the United States. A healthy people, whether a primordial tribe or modern nation, would ordinarily be expected to choose the highest quality leader possible. Defective to a minimum and excellent to a maximum, the leader is not merely meant to be a faceless chief executive that the people agree with, but someone whose aesthetic and functional qualities should be worthy of aspiration. That’s the ideal at the highest level of our social and political organization, but an ideal rooted in the metaphor of the strong horse. And the strong horse is always real, because strength is relative. An excellent case and point of this is the Republican primary, in which over a dozen people (but only 4-5 with any level of meaningful support) are trying to win the party nomination for president.
The roaring popularity of billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump among polled Republican voters has been interpreted in a number of ways. Most commentators focus on denigrating blue collar and working class White males who make up his base (especially those without a liberal arts education), attributing his success to demagoguery (which leftists are apparently uniquely incapable of), calling him a racist or a fascist, and the like. None of that is particularly insightful since the left has a tendency to call anything too White or anything it doesn’t like fascism.
One major component of his success among White male voters is an implicit White populism that is still in its early development—Trump’s nativism and burgerclap patriotism are extremely Anglo-American and really resonate with a broad swath of the dogwhistled Middle America. His campaign rallies fill venues to the brim and even attract enemy agitators. But there is more to Trump than tribalism, even though tribalism is a positive Overton movement for the alt-right.
That extra factor is simply that Trump is the strong horse in this election. He knows it too. When leftists look at Trump, they hate him not only because he wants to deport brown liberal colonists but because he represents everything they hate: privilege, wealth, masculinity and gradation. Worse yet, he isn’t sorry about any of it. Not one bit. When uncucked conservatives look at Trump, they see all of these same features, and rather than scorn them they aspire to them. The recognize that his strength—that he is a powerful and successful person that is capable of leading an organization and returning benefits to its members. Does anyone get that feel from likes of ¡Heb!, Rubio, Benzo, Fiorina, or Lindsey? I don’t think so.
Trump has a beautiful wife and five children, wealth, and promises perimeter defense and rule of law. He’s an ideal form of masculinity. Other candidates preach love for our replacements and making it easier for more of them to come in. Neat. Trump tells lobbyists and overseas Israelis that they can’t buy him. Authoritative. Others beg for shekels so they can run TV spots about non-immigration issues that are a sideshow in this election. Pathetic. Trump does not concede moral authority to his leftist critics and attempt to prove he isn’t a conservative. Trump doesn’t counter-signal his own base. Trump is in control of his own thoughts. Completely different visions, completely different policies. One is strong and the other is weak. And the weak are not fit to rule the most powerful nation on earth or uphold our first and second amendments (both of which Trump lives in practicum).
Romney could not rally voters for the purpose of repealing healthcare legislation. McCain could not rally voters to bomb more kebabs and send more body bags and basket cases back home. The message of Trump is one of America’s resurgence and literally “taking our country back” from people who have transgressed it. They have to go back and those who threaten us will not be let in. And it doesn’t matter if it upsets his enemies; why would you put their interests before yours in the first place? Trump has an advantage no Republican has had in years; don’t discount the strong horse.